India instructs VPN companies to collect and store data for five and hand over to the government.

 A new governmental order will require virtual private networks to store user data for a minimum of five years.

This is new national directive of the country's IT emergency response team, called.

Photo by Kevin Paster: Pexel

This is a policy that is probably going to make life harder for VPN businesses and VPN users.

CERT-in announced on Thursday that the VPN companies of the country will have to keep the names of the clients, the physical and IP addresses validated, the habits of use and other forms of personal information.

If the customer cancels their subscription or deletes their account, their information will always be stored in the company's servers according to the directive.

Those who fail to do so could face up to one year in prison under the applicable law cited in the new directive.

The directive does not stop at VPN providers.Data centres and cloud-based providers are listed in the same provision.

India has a long tradition of putting the heavy hand to online activity.

Forcing VPN providers to collect and store critical user data can easily be described by anyone as an attack against users' privacy.

Putting social media platforms under the direct supervision of the government can lead to total censorship of the Internet, as well as a direct attack on users' privacy and freedom of expression online.

Independent researcher Top10VPN estimates that the closures affected 59.1 million users in 2021.


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